Every parent I know struggles with how to balance screen-time in their home. And not only are screens here to stay, but the digital world will continue to rapidly evolve with new. Not only are screens here to stay, but the digital world will continue to rapidly evolve with new devices and new ways to draw our children's attention from the world around them. We as parents are forging a new path: how to create a healthy lifestyle, balance, and maintain family connections with screens in our life.
Let me share five quick ways we have successfully brought some balance into our home:
Having crayons, paper, scissors, tape, glue, string, puzzles, games, and educational toys, like Brackitz building toy, can help in getting rid of “I’m bored.”
Guess what? Your children are watching you 24/7. Your children watch and learn; from every move, you make how to be an adult. (No pressure!) Set limits for yourself to make sure that you are setting an example of what healthy screen-time management is.
Have clear time and time-limits on how long your children are allowed to be on a device goes a long way in setting expectations. In our home, after all of the chores and schoolwork are done, the kiddos are allowed to have 30 minutes of age-appropriate screen-time of their choosing. If my two children cooperate, they are allowed to combine their screen-time (this works for smaller families). For me, the goal is that they have to compromise and cooperate with each other in order to get the benefit of more screen-time
Every Sunday night we watch a movie as a family. This has been a nice compromise and built a family culture around stories.
No screens at the table. We ask questions about our day, tell funny stores and enjoy each others company. We have some exceptions to this rule:
First, we talk about tomorrow's schedule together at the dinner table. All of our events are on an electronic calendar.
Second, often while we are talking, there is a burning question that just has to be answered. i.e. Does water really go counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere? Answer: No
Your kids may not thank you right away, but they will be happier and healthier with more unplugged time, more time for unstructured play, family time, and balance.
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Stuck at home with the kids? Raining outside? Daycare closed? Don’t tell me, somebody locked the Grandparents away too!
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